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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Dairy farms could return to El Paso and Hudspeth counties

By: Ruben Veloz

EL PASO, Texas-- The state of Texas is preparing to test livestock for signs of tuberculosis in El Paso and Hudspeth counties.

The purpose is to find out whether or not the state can allow dairy farms to operate again after many cows tested positive for TB several years ago.

"I think it's a great idea," said Fabian Barragan, "I think it's going to provide 200 jobs to our local community."

Barragan grew up on a farm in Clint, Texas, and said he would like to see the business return.

"I think it's really good to test the cows before they continue with the project so it doesn't have a negative effect for the El Paso community," said Barragan.

The Texas Animal Health Commission said it will be driving around the counties in February to test livestock and any wildlife in the area.

It's part of a law authored by state Representatives Mary Gonzalez and Poncho Nevarez and sponsored by state Senator Jose Rodriguez in hopes of bringing back the dairy industry.

"I think it's really good to test the cows before they continue with the project so it doesn't have a negative effect for the El Paso community," said Barragan.

It's been eight years since El Paso County last had a dairy farm.

"There is always bacteria in everything in the food we eat and what we drink, there's always a risk," said Gabriela Federico.

At least nine dairy farms in the lower valley and one in Hudspeth County closed affecting a $40 million per year industry.

"If there's someone always monitoring these types of issues, I think it will be great plus it will help the economy," said Barragan.

The bacterial infection affected mostly cows, but can be transmitted to humans if the milk isn't pasteurized correctly, said TAHC.

Some El Pasoans tell KFOX14 they aren't afraid of getting infected even if the risk is low.

"I would trust our officials to pasteurize the milk right and do things according to regulations," said Federico.

The state found the cattle were sick, they suspected the infection came from cattle infected in Mexico, but the state wasn't able to prove that through their studies.

TAHC said they aren't allowed to test cattle in Mexico and have until September first, to complete their investigation.

 

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